I went to a show yesterday, it's the local "good ol' boy" gun club. It was a joke. Rules are no loaded weapons. If I didnt know before and was carrying the CCW, I would walk back to the truck and put the magazine in the truck and carry the empty handgun. No problem.
In the state of WY, if someone carries a weapon (gun + ammo) without permission onto property (rented or purchased) without permission, that person is considered an "intruder" (even if not armed). And if you arent shot or killed, you are arrested. It is not "someones wishes", its their right.
I brought in my HD Maverick to look for a foregrip. I think I saw more LE there than I seen on duty even at the Cheyenne Frontier Days, the largest rodeo in the US. I laughed numerous times at the ammo prices, and I made it a point to let the dealer know. I could have made a small fortune if I sold my ammo at their prices even with the $60 table price. I had the shotgun's action open with the factory cable lock through it. They still zip tied the trigger. The prices on the guns were a joke, of course. Seems they all are looking for the new buyer that does'nt do alot of homework on prices. I only go to the shows when looking for accessories (magazines, cases, grips etc). The only reason I don't buy online is that I don't want to go through the hassels of returns if it wasnt something that I am happy with. I like to touch, see, smell and caress the item before I purchase haha. One reason that I did go, knowing the farce it would be, is that the proceeds goes to the local charities.
In short and my IMO, If you don't like the rules don't go. If you see the signs and don't agree, don't go inside. If they post the signs on the inside and don't see until after paying, turn around go outside and comply then go back in with the ticket or stamp. These are private events. I can rent a civic centers for an event and let in only who I want in as long as I don't descriminate against race, age, sex, etc.
I frequent gun shows and have for years. When the ad says unloaded firearms only, that's what it means. No problem, I pop out the clip, stow it in the truck and carry my CCW in it's holster after it's cleared by the cop at the door. I also carry in trading pieces that have to be cleared. I've experienced low-balling but have also gotten some really great deals from FFL's. I usually get at least a couple of offers from different tables and the bidding begins...HA!.
I recently attended a show in Bridgeton, MO. I took along a target pistol that I had purchased from a FFL. My wife didn't like it so it became trading material. After the 1st vendor asked to see it (he had a interesting 9mm), a gentleman approached me and declared he was a good friend of that vendor and wanted to see my pistol. I have to tell you that I've done this sort of thing for years. But this dude smelled like a Fed from the moment I laid eyes on him. He glanced at my gun and refused my price and strode away. I saw him later "inspecting" other individual's wares. This was a smaller gun show and this guy stuck out like a sore trigger finger. It's pretty bad when FFL's are coerced into bird dogging honest citizens for the Feds. I did buy a 9mm that day but for $200 less on the deal than the original "stool pigeon" FFL offered me for the same gun. I did the transaction while Joe Friday was on the other side of the room.
I also often see these guys that I call snipers. They hover around the tables and jump on you with offers only slightly higher than the FFL's. I've made some good deals with a few of them. Of course they don't know that I'm always ready to "hunker down" when it comes to deals. They don't run the deal through NICS and they aren't paying for table space to the promotor. I point this out to them and let them know they are working with low overhead. I suspect they may even be shills for FFL's. I can imagine the promotors envisioning these guys working the parking lots from their tailgates. I haven't seen any restrictions yet on parking/outside transactions here in Missouri, but with the Feds snooping around, it may not be far from coming.
At a show in New York they were quick to point out that arrests had been made for deals in the parking lot.
I do not know the rules in New York, but I would not even think of trying to make a private sale.
I once sold a shotgun at a show through an FFL. He charged the buyer $15 or $25 dollars. Everyone made out well.
Working through an FFL is, I think, a nice way of protecting oneself when selling a gun to a stranger. The seller can say that he transferred his gun to a licensed dealer who ran a NICS check on the buyer. If the buyer does something stupid the only one to blame is the buyer.
Last edited by Bushmaster1313; 02-25-2010 at 10:47 PM..
I've only been to one gun show in my life and doubt I'd ever visit another. One reason is exactly because of similar vendors. They had more crap pertaining to "survivalist" than to firearms enthusiasts. The other reason is because the most troubling sight was a young mother with a baby over one shoulder and an AR-15 on the other. I consider myself a responsible person and believe highly in the concept that children learn through "modeling" or watching others. I can't stand seeing a young parent buy alcohol in front of a child. When shooting with my 9 year old nephew, we only use bullseye targets. I don't want him to associate a firearm with shooting someone or even the likeness of a person. Hell I can't tell you the last time I bought a silhouette target. While I believe the 2nd amendment is a right, I don't think we as a group need to be giving the leftist any more reasons to trample on that constitutional right. Personally, I wouldn't miss gun shows if they disappeared forever. Besides, I want to be able to return an item should it not function properly, therefore I make my purchases at reputable shops.
I learned to shoot from 3yrs of age, I watched my parents drink responsibly from the time that I can remember. The first gun I remember shooting was a .357 revolver and the first beer I saw was a Bud. I was taught the correct way to handle firearms and learned what responsible drinking looked like, and I now practice both, and am more responsible with them than any of my friends I know my age, and hope my children will learn from that same example. 'Safety and responsibility lay between the ears, not in the hands.'
Long live the Red, White, and Blue; let her not fade to just red, lest we be the USSA. So long, Comrades.